InfoComm 2012 underway in Las Vegas

InfoComm 2012 boasts 925+ exhibitors showcasing thousands of products, over 300 education sessions taught by the industry's most respected experts and over 34,000 AV pros from all around the world. has a special Newspage devoted strictly to all the news and product announcements coming out of this years show.  So make sure to read and post all the news from the show.  HomeToys InfoComm 2012 Newspage.

Exceptional 3D Debuts Portrait Series Glasses-Free 3D Product Line

Exceptional 3D today announced the expansion of their patented auto-stereoscopic 3D technology product-line by introducing the world’s first-ever lenticular glasses-free 3D Portrait Series display products and solutions. The Portrait Series 3D (PS3D) display products are an exclusive 3D display solution only available from Exceptional 3D. The cutting-edge Portrait Series 3D product-line continues a ‘simple’ consistency, going hand-in-hand with the companies Landscape Series 3D displays. The Portrait Series 3D digital displays incorporate the same award-winning no-glasses 3D characteristics that won Exceptional 3D ‘Best In Show’ amongst all ‘3D-Based Digital Signage Products’ at the 2012 Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas. A series of exclusive previews in front of well-informed members of the glasses-free 3D community has already delivered very high accolades in excess of all expectations for the Portrait Series 3D display products.

smartDIGITAL Raises $2.7M to Expand Interactive Kiosks

smartDIGITAL recently raised $2.7m in a Series A round of funding.

The startup, that makes large kiosk with multi-touch displays (think "giant SmartPhone") is already present in Chicago and Miami and has partners such as Groupon. They plan to expand to 10 further markets in the nect 36 months.

The multi-touch technology encourages users to interact with the device rather than just read it's contents. Equipped with printers, credit car swipes HD cameras and speakers, the units can deployed for many services.

CEO George Burciaga says that so far, the kiosks are usually active for 6.5 hours a day, with three to four people in front of the kiosk.


Pocket TV: Convert your TV into a Smart TV

The Pocket TV is a fully functioning micro-computer about the size of a thumb drive. It will plug into any TV with an HDMI port and essentially turn it into a SmartTV. The unit is equipped with a 1Ghz processor, 512MB RAM GPU supporting 1080p graphics, MicroSD card and a USB connector. Running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), it will be able to run virtually any Android app. The device also comes with an IR remote and supports an optional Air Remote. (You can, of course, use an Android or iOS app as a remote too.)

Development is complete and Infinitec are looking for funding via to get it into mass production. For only $99, you can secure yourself an early version.


Verizon doubling FiOS speed to 300 megabits/second

Verizon is planning to double its top speed internet service to 300 (yes, 300) megabits per second. The upload speed will be 65mbps.

Verizon touts the new service as being for "downloading files or streaming video". This begs the questions "from where and why?" That 300mbps is going to reduce dramatically once traffic gets off Verizons local loop. I'm certainly not going to get anywhere close to 300mbps to iTunes Store, Netflix, etc. Sure, I could get high speed streaming from the local Verzon hub, but I can stream Vudu HDX with only 6mbps, why do I need 300? With bandwidth caps being de rigueur, I could conceivably exceed my cap in a day.

Now if Verizon were to offer localized cloud backup that allows me to backup my entire hard drive in a few hours that would be useful. Only other use I see is 100's of channels of questionable IPTV content.

Pricing is not yet available.

Tired of Wating for 4K. Well Here Comes 8K

Demand for 4K is slowly increasing now that there is regular press coverage and consumer products are starting to appear (see: Beyond Blu-ray). NHK and Panasonic have raised the bar yet again with their prototype 145-inch 8K plasma display. The display has 16 times the resolution of a regular Full HD display, having a resolution of 7,860 pixels horizontally and 4,320 pixels vertically, and a frame rate of 60 fps.

The display will be on show to the public from May 24-27, at NHK's Science & Technology Research Laboratories in Tokyo. For those who can't wait (or can't afford the airfare) you can get a glimpse of it here:

Top Tech Trends for InfoComm 2012

Here are some trends you should keep your eyes on as we all fly/drive out to Hades – er, make that Las Vegas – for our annual festival of “techniness.”

The #1 item on my list: Substituting large LCD monitors (and TVs) for projector installations. I’m talking about what we fondly call “hang and bangs.” Fact is, ceiling-mounted projectors in conference and meeting rooms that use screens with widths in the 70- to 90-inch range are ceding ground to these new behemoth LCD displays.

In my travels around the country, I’m hearing more and more from dealers and integrators who are installing 70- and 80-inch LCD monitors (and TVs!) manufactured by, well, you know who they are. And said LCD manufacturer is now offering an extended, multi-year warranty on these products, including the TVs. The latter products are popular because of their low price and the fact that they have a built-in four-port HDMI switcher.

Full Article:

Exterior digital message boards on the rise

As the restaurant industry accelerates the adoption of interior digital menu boards to showcase their offerings, more operators are also installing exterior digital signage to pull in new and existing customers.

John Kunze, director of Sign Division Sales at Watchfire, said the typical return on investment for one of his company's signs is anywhere from six to 18 months, depending on what features an operator requests.

Still, costs remain the main reason more operators haven't updated or added exterior signage.

"This is an investment of $20,000 to $50,000, so that's a new shake machine or fryer for some operators," Kunze said. "But the costs are coming down and more restaurants are starting to realize there is a pretty quick ROI."

Consumer Demand for Home Technology Grows with Housing Market Recovery

Installed home technology is solidified in U.S. home builders' offerings as evidenced by a 1-year doubling of home automation installations in new homes, according to the 10th Annual State of the Builder Technology Market Study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

The report said entertainment and automation solutions are helping builders differentiate their businesses, while more common home technologies like structured wiring are necessary to compete effectively in the market.

The study found an increase in installations across all technology sectors, with the biggest gains in structured wiring - 63% of new homes in 2011, up from 45% of new homes in 2010.

Energy management solutions, such as automated lighting controls (12%, up from 7%) and home automation (10%, up from 5%) were at all-time highs.

Entertainment features also performed well in 2011 with multi-room audio (23%) and home theater (29%) installations rebounding strongly after recession-period lows.

O.C. HDTV maker Vizio sued by MIT over patents

Vizio Inc., Irvine maker of high definition TVs and other electronic devices, is being sued on claims of infringement on four patents held by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Boston university lists about 150 Vizio models as violating its patents in the lawsuit filed in Massachusetts federal court. The suit said the patents, issued in 1993, 1995 and 1996, cover digital televisions, Blu-ray disc players, home theater and audio systems.

MIT has filed a separate patent infringement lawsuit against Funai, which makes Phillips, Magnavox, Sylvania, Emerson, Funai and Symphonic products.

Vizio officials have not yet responded to a Register request for comment.

MIT said in the lawsuit that it offered Vizio a license for the technology, but Vizio refused. MIT also said that other unnamed companies are licensing the technology, which university researchers have worked on since the 1980s.


HDBaseT Alliance to Showcase All-in-One Connectivity for Projection and Digital Signage Markets at InfoComm 2012

HDBaseT Alliance, the cross-industry alliance formed to standardize HDBaseT(R) technology for uncompressed high definition (HD) multimedia content distribution, today announced that it will demonstrate live commercial and home networking installation use cases at InfoComm 2012, June 13-15 in Las Vegas, Nev. The demonstrations will feature projectors, a 40" digital signage display, a surveillance camera, an HDBaseT switch and a single-wire TV, all integrated with HDBaseT technology.

Booth visitors will experience for the first time a complete, end-to-end HDBaseT commercial installation scenario, comprised of a large digital signage display and an HDBaseT-integrated projector connected to an HDBaseT-enabled switch. A home theater demonstration will also showcase the technology's application to the consumer projector market.

90 Million Homes Worldwide Will Employ Home Automation Systems by 2017, Finds ABI Research

New subscription-based home automation offerings are rapidly transforming the way consumers will monitor, secure, and control their homes. Long the preserve of more expensive, custom-installed technology, home automation is moving into the mainstream, with companies such as ADT, Comcast, Verizon, Lowe's, and many others all adding home automation to their customer services.

A number of factors are driving the new entrants into the market. Connectivity is one key factor. Not only are there currently high home broadband penetration rates, as well as the potential for embedded cellular connections to connect systems, but also smartphone applications allow consumers to control and check their homes from wherever they are. As connectivity options make the home automation systems more useful, market changes are also making home automation more affordable. A traditional large up-front installation and equipment purchase is increasingly being replaced by monthly subscription offerings - often bundled alongside already existing services.

Harris Corp. getting out of digital signage/DOOH

Tech giant Harris Corp. recently announced its decision to divest itself of its Broadcast Communications division, which includes is digital signage business, but a company spokesman insists the division is continuing "business as usual."

Harris is perhaps best known within the digital signage space for its InfoCaster suite of digital signage products and its 10-year digital out-of-home network deal with 7-Eleven, but the company is perhaps better known outside of the sector as a multibillion dollar communications company specializing in government, defense and commercial contracts.

According to a May 1 Harris announcement, after the close of this quarter, the company has approved the plan to drop Broadcast Communications. "As a result, current and prior period financial results for Broadcast Communications will be reported as discontinued operations beginning with the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012," the announcement said.

Report: Home energy management market to surpass $2 billion by 2020

Even as deployments of smart grid infrastructure have accelerated in recent years, the home energy management (HEM) market has struggled to gain traction. Numerous trials have led to only a few cases of industry deployments and to anemic rates of consumer adoption. According to Pike Research, that is starting to change, and over the remainder of the decade momentum will build in this nascent market. In its new report, Pike Research predicts that the global annual shipments of standalone HEM systems will grow from a quarter million in 2011 to nearly 4.7 million in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.3%.

Combined revenue for all HEM segments will grow from a base of $93 million in 2011 to more than $2 billion in 2020, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts.

The ThruVu™ Cooler Display System is comprised of (3) major components: 1) the transparent LCD; 2) the LED lighting system and 3) the BoldVu® Video Server.

Manufacturing Resources International (MRI) has introduced the first full-size transparent (seethru) Digital LCD Door for the Convenience and Grocery stores. This "high-performance" Digital LCD Display replaces the entire conventional door glass with a transparent display assembly that allows for normal customer viewing of the product through the glass, but with the ability to run full-motion videos / advertisements / promotions in a "see-through" manner.

According to Peter Kaszycki, VP of Business Development for MRI, "By introducing this new, eye-catching product, advertisers within C-Store now have a creative way to advertise and promote their products at the all important "point of purchase" stage, just as the customer is making their final beverage or product selection from the cooler. In addition, it is real estate that already exists in the crowded C-Store space but is not being effective utilized."

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